Summary Care Records

What is the Summary Care Record?

Summary Care Records contain important information about any medicines you are taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have had.
Giving healthcare staff access to this information can prevent mistakes being made when caring for you in an emergency or when your GP practice is closed.
You can choose whether or not to have a Summary Care Record.

What information is included in the Summary Care Record?

Summary Care Records contain important information about any medicines you are taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have had.
You may want to add other details about your care to your Summary Care Record. This will only happen if you ask for the information to be included. You should discuss your wishes with your GP.

Who can see my Summary Care Record?

Only healthcare staff involved in supporting or providing your care can see your Summary Care Record. These:

  • need to be directly involved in caring for you;
  • need to have an NHS Smartcard with a chip and passcode (like a bank card and PIN);
  • will only see the information they need to do their job; and
  • should have their details recorded.

Healthcare staff will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. If they cannot ask you, for example if you are unconscious, they may look at your Summary Care Record without asking you. If they do this, they will make a note on your record to say why they have done so.

What is an enhanced summary care record?

The NHS Enhanced Summary Care Record includes the information contained in the Summary Care Record but also includes:

  • Long term health conditions
  • Relevant medical history
  • Healthcare needs & personal preferences
  • Immunisations

Please note that specific sensitive information such as fertility treatments, sexual transmitted infections, pregnancy termination or gender reassignment will not be included unless you specifically request any of these items to be included.

How will additional information help me? 
Essential details about your healthcare can be very difficult to remember, particularly when you are unwell. Having additional information will assist the clinicians who are treating  you, improving the quality of care you receive.

Is it possible for me to see the information in my Summary Care Record?

You can ask your GP practice to print out a copy of your Summary Care Record from their computer system.

What are my choices with Summary Care Records?

You can choose to have a Summary Care Record. You do not need to do anything. This will happen automatically.
You can choose not to have a Summary Care Record. If you don’t want a Summary Care Record, you need to let your GP practice know by filling in and returning an opt-out form (PDF, 245.9kB).